Heirs of the Mimar Sinan apply to the Euro court
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Mustafa İlker Yönel, an alleged descendent of Mimar Sinan says the prosecution has nothing to prove and registers of persons and their pedigree is evident.Alleged heirs of the Mimar Sinan applied to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) after exhausting all domestic legal avenues in regards to a lack of revenue payment from the Mimar-ı Sultani Sinanuddin Atik Yusuf Bin Abdullah Foundation, which was established by Mimar Sinan, the chief architect of Ottoman sultans. With the ECHR application, made by those who received gifts of real property through a will, the case has caught the attention of the international arena and the claimants have asked for an appointment with the president.
The family won two cases in 1936 and 1961 and some Supreme Court decisions had previously been made about the payment of revenue, the prosecution’s counsel Ayhan Tuncer told the Hürriyet Daily News. According to Tuncer, the foundation was chaired by the family and all revenue was controlled by them as well. The revenues of the foundation’s 130 real estate properties were disposed off by the General Directorate of Foundations. “The last payment was made 47 years ago and the sum of the accumulative revenue is 2.3 billion Turkish Liras,” he said.
Mustafa İlker Yönel, a descendent of Sinan, said the prosecution had nothing to prove and registers of persons and their pedigree was evident. “Everybody has freedom of thought and I indulgently accept that, but we have nothing to prove,” Yönel said in response to the suspicions that have been raised against them.
Sinan was born in the village of Ağırnas in the eastern city of Kayseri, where the Armenian and Greek populations were concentrated during the Ottoman Empire. The famed Ottoman architect’s birthplace is the reason why there are still discussions about Sinan’s ethnic origin and whether it is possible that he was Armenian or Greek. Academic studies on him have been published both in Turkey and abroad.
According to Yönel Sinan did not reside in Kayseri. “Although Yusuf Bin Abdullah was born in Kayseri, he was in Istanbul for many years, thus Istanbul is our hometown,” he said.
Among the properties of the foundation are shops in the Kapalıçarşı (the Grand Bazaar), as well as real estate in the Istanbul district of Fatih, the city of Tekirdağ, and the eastern city of Tokat, Yönel said.
The General Directorate of Foundations assented to the payment of revenue in 2008, but nothing has been actualized.
They lease properties out for less than the actual rent, Yönel said. There are some buildings on the lands which complicate the case and, as a result, Yönel said the state should get involved with case.